Modern Day Parenting



  • Read this article on Stuff which is from the Sydney Morning Herald. This would apply to NZ as well though.
     
    'She terrorises us': How entitled children are making their parents' lives hell

    "She terrorises us." That's how bad it is for Steve Richardson* and his wife when their 17-year-old daughter is at home.
     
    Olivia has dropped out of school and goes missing for days at a time. She's smoking pot and has been arrested for shoplifting. Tensions quickly escalate when she does return to the family home in Sydney's north west.
     
    Like when she lost her iPhone recently. "She was screaming at me to buy her a new one," Richardson says. "It couldn't just be any phone. It had to be the newest, most expensive iPhone.
     
    Terrible teens: Advice from parents
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    "When I said 'the phone is your responsibility', she started abusing me, screaming at me and smashing her bedroom. She said, 'I'm going to destroy the house, I'm going to kill myself'."
     
    Her father called the police.
     
    Richardson is one of a growing number of parents under siege from their children.
     
    THE POINTY END OF ENTITLEMENT
     
    Sons are smashing windows, furious they're asked to stop playing computer games. Doors are hanging off hinges having been slammed so hard in a fit of pique. Teenagers are holding knives to their mother's throat, or threatening to kill themselves.
     
    This is the pointy end of entitlement, the defining characteristic of this generation of children.
     
    "It's the end result of giving kids everything they want," psychologist Judith Locke explains. "Tough love is really being called for, but we've got a generation of parents who are much less inclined to do this."
     
    Eager to deliver the perfect childhood, parents are emotionally and materially indulging their children. Boundaries are rarely enforced and consequences aren't imposed by parents who want to be their child's friend. Kids who grow up expecting attention and success are so accustomed to getting what they want that they don't know how to cope when they don't.
     
    Richardson blames himself for spoiling his daughter. "She has always been given everything she wanted."
     
    Unable to tell anyone what's going on at home, he and his wife have travelled to the eastern suburbs to attend a meeting of Toughlove​, a confidential parent support group.
     
    His story resonates with other parents there. "I would always buy my daughter whatever she wanted because I thought that would make her happy," says Janet Burchfield*, a blonde woman in her 40s. "Now she hits me if she doesn't get what she wants. Today she told me she was never going to speak to me again because I never get her what she wants. I can't win."
     
    PATH OF LESS RESISTANCE
     
    Parenting experts say the trend towards smaller families has upped the ante on parenting with the goal of maximising the outcomes for each child. But often working parents are so time poor that they will take the path of less resistance.
     
    "Sometimes parents haven't got the time to have that fight with the kids so we just give in," parent educator Michael Grose says. "Often we don't delegate to the child, or allow them to do it themselves, because it's easier and quicker to do it ourselves."
     
    No parent likes seeing their child upset but psychologists believe we're going overboard in our quest to please our kids. "It's well-intentioned but extreme responsiveness to the child, which can actually stop their resilience," Locke says.
     
    Schools report that kids are now so conditioned to receiving a ribbon just for showing up at the sports carnival that they overreact when things don't go their way.
     
    "We are very quick to gratify our students," admits Australian Primary Principals Association president Dennis Yarrington. "This notion of putting in effort, working hard, having delayed gratification, is something I see young people today struggle with."
     
    Growing up with the Internet and social media hasn't helped. Anything kids want, from pizza to porn, can be satisfied 24/7 via the Internet. Social media breeds narcissism by making kids the stars of their own lives on Facebook, Instagram​ and YouTube. Having a newsfeed​ full of what their peers are getting and doing dials up the desire to have the same.
     
    SAYING NO A MATTER OF CHOICE
     
    Yet kids rarely have to go without. With most families now dual income, saying no to a child's latest whim is a matter of choice, not because parents actually don't have the money to buy the new iPhone 6 or PS4.
     
    "Because we can give them so much, kids now see it as their right rather than a privilege," Grose says. "We forget that with rights come responsibilities."
     
    The never-ending requirement for more peaks at this time of year. "Kids tend to focus more on the number of presents and their expectations on the present being exactly what they have asked for, they don't experience the joy and gratefulness of receiving one item," psychologist reference_to_a_cricket_achievement Pritchard observes. 
     
    Pritchard stresses that entitlement is a normal part of kids' development, which strikes with the egocentrism of the toddler, and then the boundary-pushing of the 15 – 18-year-old teenager. "But when that entitled expectation is reinforced with no boundaries, it can become really unhealthy and negative," she says.
     
    Some parents are compensating for their own childhood, indulging their children the way they feel they weren't.
     
    Others are making enormous sacrifices for their kids. They might be working long hours or piling up the debt. They're turning themselves inside out to organise their schedules around dance, swimming, piano and Mandarin lessons, or funding overseas trips for their kids which they themselves won't be able to afford in retirement.
     
    "Often children remain on the parents' payroll a lot longer when they're brought up like that," Locke says. She wonders what this will mean for parents in their old age. Will children who are so used to being lovingly tended to – and funded – well into their 30s be able to adjust to the role-reversal and take care of their parents when the time comes?
     
    MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES PREDICTED
     
    Kids who grow up insulated from difficulty and disappointment are also likely to struggle in adulthood if they don't get into their first preference for uni, miss out on a job, or are dumped by the love of their life.
     
    "Because they haven't really developed resilience, they emerge a lot weaker from tough experiences," Locke warns. She predicts mental health issues will emerge in this generation as they mature.
     
    In a bid to clamp down on entitlement, principals are encouraging parents and teachers to emphasise the concept of personal best.
     
    "It's learning that if you have done your best, if you have done whatever you can to achieve the best result, that's what's important. Not whether you came first or last," Yarrington explains.
     
    Schools are adopting the KidsGive program, where children use crowdfunding to raise money for the cause of their choice. "You counteract the age of entitlement with the age of giving," Yarrington says. "Kids learn that sometimes it is more about others than myself."
     
    *Names have been changed

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       - Sydney Morning Herald

    I am father to a toddler, turns 3 in February, so he is at the age where he is pushing the boundaries on what he can/cannot get away with, and is starting to demand things (I.E. to watch is favourite program etc).
     
    I have to admit it is tempting to spoil the little man - there are some seriously cool toys around nowadays that I would have loved as a kid. So far we have been pretty disciplined with what we do get him, especially compared to some other parents around, but I can see how parents do end up spoiling their children.
     
    Generally I think we do pretty well. When he has his little tantrums we just leave him to it, he stops pretty quickly when he realises we aren't paying any attention to him.
     
    There's also the smacking debate. Personally we don't think we need to smack him as there are plenty of other ways to discipline a child, but I know views may vary on that.
     
    I know a number of other Ferners are parents so I would be interested in your thoughts about raising children in today's world of Internet and social media etc. It is a very different world to the one most of us grew up in. I am not really looking forward to when my boy is a teenager...



  • I have all our devices (iPads, PS3) linked, and signed into my youtube, gmail etc accounts so I can monitor and restrict what they watch/see, I have a password on the iPads, so they have to get permission to use it and I I limit PS3 use to about 30-45mins at one time, again, signed into my PS account, so I get e-mails about free downloads and have not put any credit card details in.
     
    TR Jnr (10) says he needs a phone, but cant give me a valid reason for it, not to mention the fact that no other kids in his class have one.
     
    Not looking forward to the next half dozen years with boy (10) girl (7) and the attitude we currently get (particularly from Miss 7) and then there is the fighting, which at the moment, they seem to fight about pretty much anything and everything...they fight over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher, then they fight who gets to unload it, then they fight over a cup that the other just got a drink from, that was my cup, fight over who gets to sit in the back, neither are playing with the dog, one decides to play with the dog, then they start fighting over the dog - that's normal right?
     
    Oh well, only about 10-12 more years!



  • We had an apprentice like that, his mum was paying off the thousands of dollars of traffic fines he had and he liked to brag about how he and his sister had kicked holes in the doors to their house and his sister liked to act like Kelly Osbourne throwing tantrums all the time. Judging by their house and cars etc is say their kids were ensuring the parents would not be enjoying an early retirement .
    Anyway the real world was a rude awakening for him, he thought it was funny to piss us off with his idiot behaviour and laziness and he had to get shifted around a lot and he ended up with me. One of the other guys went to pick up a plank and the little shit put his foot on it , he took it off and slammed it down again on the guys fingers. The guy who's fingers he squashed was a bit older than me but he wasn't slow , he had that kid on the ground and had smacked him in the head a couple of times before I knew what was going on. Not that I would have stopped him , he moved to another firm and stole a ramset drill off his boss who went to the police and also gave him a few taps for his trouble. He must be about 30 now, with a criminal record and unable to get insurance .



  • I have all our devices (iPads, PS3) linked, and signed into my youtube, gmail etc accounts so I can monitor and restrict what they watch/see, I have a password on the iPads, so they have to get permission to use it and I I limit PS3 use to about 30-45mins at one time, again, signed into my PS account, so I get e-mails about free downloads and have not put any credit card details in.
     
    TR Jnr (10) says he needs a phone, but cant give me a valid reason for it, not to mention the fact that no other kids in his class have one.
     
    Not looking forward to the next half dozen years with boy (10) girl (7) and the attitude we currently get (particularly from Miss 7) and then there is the fighting, which at the moment, they seem to fight about pretty much anything and everything...they fight over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher, then they fight who gets to unload it, then they fight over a cup that the other just got a drink from, that was my cup, fight over who gets to sit in the back, neither are playing with the dog, one decides to play with the dog, then they start fighting over the dog - that's normal right?
     
    Oh well, only about 10-12 more years!

    On the positive side I don't think you can go any greyer bro......
    Like the rest of ya I'm in for a tough few years although having two boys the nastiness is mainly just violence, no name calling at least. NQ, I wanted to go hard out with the present buying as well, the Lego Millenium falcon and BB8 droid looked like good buys but the ex ( rightly ) pointed out that they already have a shitload of Lego and buying presents to share is a recipe for disaster. Instead I got Star Wars themed figures, bags, cards, jigsaws etc and seeing them open everything on Xmas day and the sheer delight and gratitude they showed made me happier than I can remember being in ages.



  • I've got a 16 year old daughter threatening to leave home because I don't want her to drop out of school.
    Get a qualification or get a job I said.
    She said the government would pay her a benefit if she was to leave home & I didn't have any idea what it's like to be a teenager & not get what I want.
     
    I'm currently helping her pack her bags.
    Not ideal I know, but how else do I teach her about the real world?



  • My kids are now 11 (boy) and 8 (girl). Thankfully, they're both pretty intelligent kids so I don't have any real concerns about what will happen to them ongoing.
     
    For me, the goal of parenting is to raise people, not kids. Those people will need to be useful adults - mostly so they're not sponging off me the rest of their lives, but mainly because its the only way they're not going to be basket cases in a world that is pretty fucking mad compared to my upbringing.
     
    I'm not a complete hardass on them, but I won't put up with their bullshit like my wife does so often. I like to think I'm a good Dad, but there is shit they won't even try with me that they hit her with all the time. One night, for example, the boy left his watch in the bathroom, which his sister pointed out.
     
    Him: "Could you be a good sister and get it for me?"
    Her: "Sure!"
     
    I asked why they were such a pair of little animals when their mother was home, but not when they were stuck with just me. Boy looks at me directly and said "Because you're meaner than Mummy".
     
    It seems to be a common theme with the mothers I know, at least. i.e. try to be a Mum to them forever and make it last. From my point of view, all you're raising is a dependent who isn't prepared for failure or rejection.
     
    And I've noticed this over and over again - if she's late getting home from work, they'll do what I ask up until she walks in the door, then they use her to start acting up.
     
    Example: the boy had assignments to do for school last year (second last year of primary/elementary). The wife basically holds his hand right through that shit, sitting down with him and suggesting what to do and downloading images and links for him. He'd get the shits about it because he wanted to play Minecraft or some other rubbish, and cue two hours of frustration and angst on both sides. End result was an "A" on that assignment.
     
    So anyway, she's out one night at a thing with friends, and had another assignment to finish. I sit him down in front of google, tell him to search for the topic, don't quote everything word-for-word (explain what that means), and a couple of hours later he's done. End result was an "A" on that assignment.
     
    Now, part of that is his natural maturation over the course of the school year, but part of it is this problem she's got with over-mothering them. We both work full time. We are "time poor" as per that article. My wife loves to go to town on Christmas and Birthday presents/parties etc. (while she looks wistfully at people going on holiday) and in part that is due to her upbringing where they didn't have much. I dig that, and that she knows we only have them for a limited time.
     
    But the little fool sends his mother an iMessage with "Got my assignment done tonight. Guess I don't need your help any more 🙂 🙂 🙂 ", which you can imagine went down well. So I get an outraged text about his attitude etc and "why oh why can't he see I'm trying to help!"
     
    I ended up sending her a carefully worded email with a bit of backstory and one piece of advice: stop cooking him breakfast every day.



  • I've got a 16 year old daughter threatening to leave home because I don't want her to drop out of school.
    Get a qualification or get a job I said.
    She said the government would pay her a benefit if she was to leave home & I didn't have any idea what it's like to be a teenager & not get what I want.
     
    I'm currently helping her pack her bags.
    Not ideal I know, but how else do I teach her about the real world?

    Good on you for not backing down, do winz get in touch with you if she applies for that benefit? I would have thought there'd have to be a decent reason for to be able to get it rather than she doesn't want to say " is that a regular or large combo?".



  • And that article rings absolutely true with parents I know or have met. Their kids are out of control because they signed up for a baby, not a person, when they decided to have kids.
     
    I'd rather my wife halve the toy budget and put that money into a holiday fund so we could go get some experiences and educate our kids. But their default position on any tourist attraction is "where's the gift store?"



  • I asked why they were such a pair of little animals when their mother was home, but not when they were stuck with just me. Boy looks at me directly and said "Because you're meaner than Mummy".
     
    It seems to be a common theme with the mothers I know, at least. i.e. try to be a Mum to them forever and make it last. From my point of view, all you're raising is a dependent who isn't prepared for failure or rejection.
     
    And I've noticed this over and over again - if she's late getting home from work, they'll do what I ask up until she walks in the door, then they use her to start acting up.

    Sounds VERY familiar to my kids!
     
    My boy is very intelligent, he is just lazy as buggary, and while his school reports seem eerily similar to mine at the same age, I get the impression it is standard fare for teachers to write.
     
    My daughter plays upto the dumb girl image, but she is also pretty smart.



  • I think I have the same problem as you NTA. The wife wants our boy to stay "her baby forever" whereas I'm very keen to raise him into a respectable adult. She is far more of a pushover then me. Like when I say it's bed time he says "I wanna cuddle mummy!!!" and runs off to her, as he know she is far less likely to make him go to bed immediately. I sent her the above article as a warning about the perils of letting him dictate to us.
     
    TR - that sounds like a good idea linking your devices together under your account so you can monitor.
     
    Judging by a few comments here, I am starting to think a 2nd child is not a good idea? 🙂



  • I should point out: I'm not a hardass to my kids. I just draw the line and expect them to stay near it. I actually appreciate the times they push it, because it shows they're growing, and we can review that as we go.

    Judging by a few comments here, I am starting to think a 2nd child is not a good idea? 🙂

    Siblings will fight - that's the way of things. But they'll stick up for each other. My two are separated by 3.5 years and it seems to work well.
     
    When she hits puberty and he's awkward mid-teens though... ay ay ay! Might be time for that trip around Australia. And an explanation to him of the basics of the menstrual cycle and what it means for your sanity.

    My daughter plays upto the dumb girl image, but she is also pretty smart.

    This is a LOT to do with the cues they take from TV or movie characters. Look at Frozen: the queen is a neurotic bitch with ice powers, and the sister is basically a ditz with a heart of gold. My Little Ponies are fucking idiots with too much free time on their hands to analyse feelings that they've hurt (google "bronies" if you don't think THAT is fucked up).
     
    Kids don't have much decent slapstick to look up to any more and just laugh at. All their shit is trying to teach them about communication and feelings. Its rubbish



  • yea sounds all very familiar NTA.
     
    As for a sibling thing NQ, well, I guess the flipside is an only child is likely to be spoilt even more...there are days we question having either of them, let alone the 2nd 😉 Seriously though, when they are not being little plonkers, they are pretty funny and good to have about, and then there is the funny shit they say.
     
    I asked my kids if they knew what I did for a job, got a surprisingly good answer from TR Jnr, Miss 7 looked at me, told me the industry I work in, I asked for more, she told me to ask her brother as he would know.
     
    Miss 7 helped me make plum jam from my plum tree yesterday, and she was very excited and was very eager to have it on her toast this morning, sadly, she slept in and I was off to work before she had breakfast
     
    They both have their annoying traits, TR Jnr, wants to be better at stuff (running, rugby etc) but would prefer he became magically fitter, stronger etc....



  • Good on you for not backing down, do winz get in touch with you if she applies for that benefit? I would have thought there'd have to be a decent reason for to be able to get it rather than she doesn't want to say " is that a regular or large combo?".

    They have asked why she needs to leave home.
    We have said that she doesn't, she just needs to go to school or get a job, we are happy to do what parents should be doing & that she WANTS to leave.
     
    Their reply was pretty much, Ahh... another teenager thinking she knows best & rebelling against authority & her parents.
     
    At this stage no benefit, but she still believes that she is entitled to one & is now citing mental health issues (depression from having to do what her parents say).
    There have been some rather scary threats that as a parent you never want to hear.
     
    So she is currently leaving with the assumption that once she has left she will get what she wants.



  • I had an awkward moment at after school pick ups a few months back. Oldest was hanging his head in shame and the convo went like this:
    Me: What's wrong mate?
    MN5 Jr: I hit someone....
    Me: Why?
    MN5 Jr: Cos he tried to hit my brother........
    He pointed at the kid who was a lot bigger than him and I was torn between pride and anger.....their mum is of the opinion that they need to go to the teacher when shit flares up, having been a small boy of the 80s in the school playground I realise this is often not an option. As an only child I really play up the whole 'I never had a brother, you guys need to watch out for eachother' and more often than not they do but my oldest is almost a Troy Flavell/Danny Grewcock type, he's sometimes not particularly sly, he'll go in all guns blazing and get caught by the teachers when often he is retaliating for an earlier ( unseen ) offence.
    You don't want your kids fighting but at the same time you don't want them being pussies and crying to the teacher. It's a complete and utter no win situation really.



  • I'm a very permissive parent. I often say not to do something only to get stared at and then the behaviour continues right in front of me. But I console myself with the fact I'm raising a cat.



  • TR Jnr, wants to be better at stuff (running, rugby etc) but would prefer he became magically fitter, stronger etc....

    Oh THAT shit. My boy likes to do "parkour" like the guy in Assassin's Creed. Except his version is struggling to get his flabby, low-muscle-tone carcass up onto a park bench before hesitantly jumping down so he doesn't injure himself. And when I poke fun at him, the wife intervenes (if she's in earshot).

    I had an awkward moment at after school pick ups a few months back. Oldest was hanging his head in shame and the convo went like this:
    Me: What's wrong mate?
    MN5 Jr: I hit someone....
    Me: Why?
    MN5 Jr: Cos he tried to hit my brother........
    He pointed at the kid who was a lot bigger than him and I was torn between pride and anger.....their mum is of the opinion that they need to go to the teacher when shit flares up, having been a small boy of the 80s in the school playground I realise this is often not an option. As an only child I really play up the whole 'I never had a brother, you guys need to watch out for eachother' and more often than not they do but my oldest is almost a Troy Flavell/Danny Grewcock type, he's sometimes not particularly sly, he'll go in all guns blazing and get caught by the teachers when often he is retaliating for an earlier ( unseen ) offence.
    You don't want your kids fighting but at the same time you don't want them being pussies and crying to the teacher. It's a complete and utter no win situation really.

    Fucking women and their "follow the rules" shit. They, better than anyone, should know that teachers get sick of whiny shit. And nothing sensible gets done about it anyway.
     
    There is a kid at our school who annoys the boy, and when he was younger he'd pussy out and cry about it. Then one day at after school care, this little fluffybunny knocked the boy's ice block out of his hand so he choked said fluffybunny halfway to unconsciousness.
     
    Fuck yeah.
     
    The annoying bit is the kids just want to play, so they don't hold grudges against these fuckfaced little piston wristed gibbons. This whole "best way to beat a bully is not react, and just be nice".
     
    No, woman: its to literally beat them. One hour of nice behaviour in the playground isn't going to mitigate that little twat's shitty home life.
     
    I tell the kids to ignore it, then to tell the teacher if they won't leave you alone. If the teacher does nothing, or the kid comes back, go nuclear.



  • They have asked why she needs to leave home.
    We have said that she doesn't, she just needs to go to school or get a job, we are happy to do what parents should be doing & that she WANTS to leave.
     
    Their reply was pretty much, Ahh... another teenager thinking she knows best & rebelling against authority & her parents.
     
    At this stage no benefit, but she still believes that she is entitled to one & is now citing mental health issues (depression from having to do what her parents say).
    There have been some rather scary threats that as a parent you never want to hear.
     
    So she is currently leaving with the assumption that once she has left she will get what she wants.

    Please let us know the outcome. Sounds like a real nuisance.



  • We have made a point of saying that the door is always open & that she will always be welcome to come home if she is prepared to follow a couple of simple rules.
    I'm picking (hoping) that after a couple of months in the real world, she'll work out that having to follow a few rules really isn't that bad & be back at home with us paying for the course that she wants to do.
     
    I'm pretty keen to know outcome as well.



  • [quote name="NTA" post="550658" timestamp="1451950483"]Oh THAT shit. My boy likes to do "parkour" like the guy in Assassin's Creed. Except his version is struggling to get his flabby, low-muscle-tone carcass up onto a park bench before hesitantly jumping down so he doesn't injure himself. And when I poke fun at him, the wife intervenes (if she's in earshot
    Good to know the Apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree then....



  • Interesting and scary thread to read.
     
    Im the father of 3 daughters..